SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Pfizer announced Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11-years-old, and doctors say this could help reduce the number of cases spreading among school aged children.
Currently Pfizer is approved for 16 and older and has the emergency use authorization for 12 and older and will seek U.S. authorization for the 5 to 11 age group.
During its testing, Pfizer tested a much lower dose for the 5 to 11 age group, saying it is about a third of the amount that is in each shot given now. Doctors say the lower dosage will will help reduce side effects.
Intermountain Healthcare says vaccines for this new age group could help improve the state’s vaccine numbers.
“We’ve been somewhat crippled in our ability to get the full population immunized to prevent spread because we haven’t had a vaccine for those who make up a large portion of our population, which are these youngest children,” says Dr. Tamara Sheffield from Intermountain Healthcare. “This will really help us in terms of getting a better protected population.”
Doctors say now that children are back in school, the delta variant is causing a spike in cases.
In the next couple weeks. Pfizer says the FDA is expected to grant approval, then the shot will be given emergency use authorization.